Fighting graft

PUBLISHED : Monday, 02 March, 1998, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 02 March, 1998, 12:00am

Inside ICAC (Pearl, 7.15pm) is designed to make us all think a bit more carefully about the foolishness of trying anything dodgy, and a bit more fondly of those brave boys in, well, mufti. Hard-hitting documentary this is not, but then the ICAC would hardly have co-operated so enthusiastically with the programme if it had been.

To give some idea of the tone of the show, which will run for the next 13 weeks and which was originally made for Jade audiences, Flora Chan will be presenting. A fine television personality in many ways, but no Kate Adie.

Seinfeld (Pearl, 9pm) has actually felt funnier in the earlier slot, but that is because the first two episodes were real belters, vintage Seinfeld. Tonight's episode, The Glasses, is still very amusing but there aren't many moments as good as the look on Jerry's face when he realised he was going to have to wear the puffy shirt. 'It's great!' Kramer told him. 'You'll be the first pirate!' 'But I don't want to be a pirate!' Jerry wailed back.

We are still only three episodes in to series five, in the US, viewers are tearfully tuning in to the final, and ninth series.

Seinfeld's decision to quit, which he says was supported fully by his fellow cast member, has caused an outcry, not least among NBC executives bereft at having lost the top-rated show on American television.

Seinfeld says simply that he wanted to end on a high. When he turned up to record the first episode of the last series in Los Angeles in January, his opening speech was 'Five million bucks a week? The guy must be crazy, right?' One fan asked him if he would have stayed for US$10 million. 'Good question,' he said. 'Which I wasn't asked by the way.' Meanwhile NBC are plugging the last series as an 'endangered species' and making the most of the press attention while they can. This includes sending out press packs filled with the definitive Seinfeld episode guide, character biographies and black and white portrait of the cast. And more importantly, those press pack staples, a very nice Seinfeld T-shirt (great for these nippy nights) and a rather nice Seinfeld rollerball pen (none of your tacky biro rubbish, like the mean old BBC).

And of course the noble heroes portrayed in the programme mentioned at the top of this column, should make the slightest link between this gift, and the decision to write about the best loved American sitcom ever. For the real reason, they should tune in to Frankenstein (World, 9.30pm).

God knows, Kenneth Branagh's effort was bad enough, but this one is thoroughly average, and owes more than a little to the director's previous work, Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde.

Faced with made for TV second rate bad melodrama on the one hand, and Jerry and Elaine going to the glasses store to help George pick out some new frames, I'll take my chances with the corruption legislation anytime.